Having been to a few events at that particular B&N before, we thought we knew what to expect. We expected it to be crazy crowded, to probably not get a seat, and even wait on line for a bit. But we had no idea...
[Just an FYI: We will be reviewing Kathy's book when we're done reading it - so far it's awesome - but this is just a review of the event itself.]
Apparently, this was a "bracelet" event. Yeah, it would've been nice if anyone had warned us of that. Sigh. (The event page on B&N's website doesn't look like it said anything about it.) Some people had apparently gone to B&N as early as 6:00 am to buy books and get bracelets. We... did not, for two main reasons: We didn't know we could do that and we also have, you know, lives and stuff that prohibited us from spending the entire day in Manhattan loitering around the bookstore. Anyway, we're not sure exactly how things were supposed to work, but that was the word on the street with the cashiers when we were buying our books. [I do want to give a shoutout to the cashier who helped me, because while some of women behind the counter clearly seemed like they couldn't wait for the Kathymania to be over, she got it and even said "I feel your pain" in a sincere way, and we all know that's not an easy phrase to sell, but she did and it made me feel better, even if she didn't mean it. But I digress.]
So, after we got our books, the real fun began. First we were told by one employee to "just go over there and hang out, you should be able to get in". Then when we got to the section where the event was to take place... another, much louder employee asked us what we were doing there. Of course, when we tried to answer her she wouldn't let us say much...
We started to walk away when another employee gave us actual helpful information on how to find the end of the line at the other end of the store (it's a big fucking Barnes & Noble, okay). We thanked her for giving directions rather than yelling the same thing at us over and over. The mean, loud employee heard us say that and then started to try to guide us, but we cut her off, "Yeah, the other end of the store, we've got it now, thanks".
What are you doing here?
We're just waiting for the event to start. Where--
You can't just wait here to see her. These people have been waiting! You have to get to the back of the line.
Yeah, that's what we were going to ask, where is the--
Go to the back of the line! At to the other end of the store!
Okay, but where is--
The other end of the store. The other end of the store! You have to go to the back of the line at the other end of the store!
So we finally found ourselves at the mythical "other end of the store" and another very helpful employee gave us the most specific directions ever... the end of the line is behind that guy in the pink shirt. Sweet! Now let us tell you about this line... it was long. Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. Wow. We knew that Kathy Griffin wasn't exactly "D-List" anymore (if she ever really was), but we were not prepared for this kind of a crowd.
Let's just say, we've never spent that much time in a bookstore before...the line wound itself up and down almost every aisle of the store (which explained why it took us a minute to figure out where the "end" actually was), so if anybody needs to know if the Tribeca B&N carries a particular book, feel free to ask, because we probably saw it. While most of the fans waiting on line killed the time by reading Kathy's book, we didn't want to do that. We flipped through it a bit, but when we read a book, we want to really read a book... sit down, get comfortable... none of this standing in line bullshit reading! No way! We instead spent the three hours (yes, THREE hours!) on line being our usual loud, obnoxious selves. We critiqued every book that we passed on our "tour" of Barnes and Noble, as the line wove in and out of various shelves and sections.
In case you have any doubt about our level of sanity, here is a selection of our twitter updates from the night of the event:
(Yes, if we were going to have to be tortured by standing on that annoying line... we were going to torture our twitter followers as well. If you're not already following us, you should, so you'll never miss out on fun stuff like this.)
So nobody told us that the Kathy Griffin signing required wristbands that were given out this morning. Fuck! Online in Barnes & Noble Siberia #suckit
So the purple wristband means yes, green means maybe, & no wristband means #suckit Save us @officialkathyg!
Some of the Barnes & Noble employees are helpful & feeling our pain & some are...not. #kathygriffinpurgatory
We can hear Kathy but we can't see her. #survivorsofwristbandgate
Reading a very informative book called How to Succeed with Women. #kathygriffinpurgatory
Now we're reading a book called Flirtexting. It's an actual book that exists. #wheresourbookdeal?
Just FYI, the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts is 400 pages long. We're up to candle carving. #kathygriffinpurgatory
We have to say that as frustrating as the line was, we actually did have a little fun and it was well worth it. We befriended the three girls who were on line in front of us and discussed important topics like vampires, the most depressing books we had to read in high school (The Jungle, anyone?) and why anyone would need to build their own miniature Stonehenge. And the cute gay guys were nice to look at. (They weren't looking back at us, but that's okay.) We also have totally come up with the best book idea, but we're not telling yet so no one can steal it. Where's our book deal!?
We weren't able to get any pictures with Kathy or have her personalize the books (just a signature) because she wanted to be able to accommodate as many people as possible. But we were lucky to have made it to the front of the line at all. Let us just say that Kathy Griffin is "good people". She had been signing books for hours and yet was still going... and going strong. She was still smiling, and cheerful, and funny... and gracious. She literally thanked every single person for coming and for buying the book. Now that's class.
We were able to slip her an EvilSlutClique sticker before we left. She asked to be an honorary member of the clique and we, of course, agreed. We told her that she's basically the patron saint celebrity of Evil Slutopia, and she said, "I love 'saint' and 'slut' in the same sentence." We were pretty pissed at Barnes and Noble for not advertising the "rules" of the event a little bit better... but the truth is, it would take a really long line to keep us away from Kathy.
Our final twitter update of the night:
Success! Got our books signed & when we left Kathy had been signing for 2 hours & was still going. She's awesome #kathygriffinheavenThanks again Kathy! Barnes & Noble, you can suck it! You know who else can suck it? Perez Hilton...
We were about to post this yesterday, when we noticed this lovely blog entry from ol' Perez:
Kathy Griffin A Mega Bitch At Book Signing!Of course, if you look at the actual blog he cited, they didn't call her a bitch, at all. In fact, I think the exact quote was:
So we hear from the folks that went to her book reading and signing in New York City on Tuesday night!
Infamous D-Lister Kathy Griffin had a few not-so-pleasant surprises for the thousand or so fans that showed up to the her reading/signing last night.
For starters, you had to purchase a book even just to be present for the reading, which isn't the norm for most book releases. Then, once you shelled out $25, you were given a wristband. Depending on how early (or how late) you were to the party, you were given a certain color wristband. Some got you seating, some got you standing-room-only, and some got you jack shit, as we learned that just by having a wristband, didn't mean your book would get signed.
Then, after all that, Kathy didn't even do a reading, saying that she wanted to leave enough time to get to everyone during the signing and didn't even personalize the books!!!
All of that said, do we love Kathy Griffin? To bits and pieces. Would we shell out cash for another of her stand-up shows at Madison Square Garden, or anywhere else? Without question. Worth every penny.Somehow Perez inferred "mega bitch" from that lovely description? We will say that for once, the comments on Perez's post are worth reading, because a bunch of commenters basically school him on the many ways that he's totally wrong, which include:
1. We highly doubt that Kathy herself handled the logistics of the event and came up with the wristband idea herself, so it's pretty ridiculous to blame her for it. Several commenters claiming to be employees of B&N or other big bookstores pointed out that signing events with very high-profile authors are usually organized with the same or a similar system. Yes, we were annoyed that the store didn't do a better job of publicizing the fact that there was going to be a wristband system, and a few employees were rude and unhelpful. But on the other hand, most of the employees were helpful and were trying to do their best with a crowd that had seemingly exceeded their expectations.
2. It's true that Kathy didn't do a reading from the book, but from what we could hear in our spot on the line and what we heard later from other people who were closer, she did do about 10-15 minutes of standup before she started signing, and the reason that she didn't speak for longer was that she wanted to try to sign as many books as possible and she knew that there were a lot of people waiting.
3. It's also true that she didn't personalize books or pose for pictures with people, but again, that was done so that she could get to as many people as possible. It also wasn't a surprise to anyone who was waiting on line, because a B&N employee walked down the entire line to make sure that everybody was aware of it. They could have just turned away anyone who didn't have a wristband (including us, and we were prepared for the possibility that we wouldn't make it to the front of the line in time, cause did we mention it was really fucking long?), but instead they tried everything possible to make sure that everyone got to meet Kathy and get their book signed. How exactly does any of this make Kathy Griffin a "mega bitch"?
4. As we mentioned before, when we finally did make it to the front of the line, Kathy was about as far from "bitchy" as you could get. By the time we got to her, she had been signing for about two hours, and she was still cheerful, friendly, and gracious. (And this was after she had spent a full day doing press for the book release.) She thanked us for buying the book, and even though the B&N people were keeping the line going as quickly as possible, Kathy was still taking a second to chat with each person and didn't make anybody feel rushed. When we left the store a few minutes later, she was still signing.
Basically, Perez is wrong in every way possible (we know that's totally shocking). The good news is that if last night's huge crowd is any indication, Kathy Griffin definitely doesn't need his help to make it to the A-list.